Matt Swartz at MLBTR has been producing some very accurate arbitration estimates over the last three seasons. His estimates for the Pittsburgh Pirates just came out recently, in an off-season preview that was written by Charlie at Bucs Dugout. Below are the MLBTR arbitration estimates:

  • Gaby Sanchez, 1B (5.025): $2.7MM
  • Neil Walker, 2B (4.166): $8.6MM
  • Ike Davis, 1B (4.155): $4.4MM
  • Mark Melancon, RP (4.098): $7.6MM
  • Travis Snider, OF (4.091): $2MM
  • Chris Stewart, C (4.091): $1.3MM
  • Pedro Alvarez, 3B (4.085): $5.5MM
  • Tony Watson, RP (3.101): $2MM
  • Josh Harrison, 3B (3.033): $2.2MM
  • Jared Hughes, RP (2.162): $1.1MM
  • Vance Worley, SP (2.139): $2.9MM

Charlie notes that Mark Melancon’s projection is way up there due to a combination of saves and holds that might have messed up the projection system. He disagreed with the projection for Melancon, and I do as well. I’ve got Melancon projected for $4 M, and I think he’ll end up around that range. So I’m keeping that projection on the 40-man payroll page. The rest of the projections have been updated with the MLBTR figures.

The 2015 payroll projection has been updated with the new figures. The estimated payroll was $65,452,500 prior to this. The new estimate is $65,574,750. There were a few differences here, but overall they balanced each other out. For example, my projection for Neil Walker was $600,000 low, but my projection for Pedro Alvarez was $500,000 high. As another example, my projection for Josh Harrison was $800,000 high, and Vance Worley was $900,000 low.

I don’t see the Pirates keeping both Davis and Alvarez. Also, Gaby Sanchez could be a non-tender candidate, with the possibility that he could return at a lower price. So the projections would drop at least $4-5 M, and possibly more than that, depending on how the first base situation plays out.

Here is a look back at how accurate the projections have been in previous years (or if you skip over this, know that they’ve been very accurate).

2012

Player (Projection/Actual)

Joel Hanrahan ($4.0/$4.1)

Casey McGehee ($3.1/$2.5375)

Jeff Karstens ($2.8/$3.1)

Garrett Jones ($2.4/$2.25)

Ross Ohlendorf ($2.1/Non-Tendered)

Charlie Morton ($2.1/$2.445)

Jose Veras ($2.5/$2.0 with Milwaukee)

Chris Resop ($1.1/$0.85)

Evan Meek ($0.9/$0.875)

Jason Grilli ($0.8/$1.1)

2013

Player (Projection/Actual)

Joel Hanrahan ($6.9/$7.04)

Jeff Karstens ($3.8/Non-Tendered)

Garrett Jones ($4.4/$4.5)

Charlie Morton ($2.6/$2.0)

Chris Resop ($1.3/$1.35)

James McDonald ($3.0/$3.025)

Neil Walker ($2.9/$3.3)

Gaby Sanchez ($1.8/$1.75)

2014

Player (Projection/Actual)

Garrett Jones ($5.3/Non-Tendered)

Neil Walker ($4.8/$5.75)

Pedro Alvarez ($4.0/$4.25)

Charlie Morton ($3.9/$4.0) *Part of an extension

Mark Melancon ($3.0/$2.595)

Gaby Sanchez  ($2.3/$2.3)

Travis Snider ($1.4/$1.2)

Michael McKenry ($900K/Non-Tendered)

Vin Mazzaro ($800 K/$950 K)

Felix Pie ($500K/Non-Tendered)

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3 COMMENTS

  1. This guy is the expert so why aren’t we trusting his $7M for Melancon? Just because we want it to be less. I think Melancon will get $6-7M. He’s one of the best closers in baseball and closers get paid, hence why the relievers still want to close.

  2. All fairly reasonable, except for a slight blip for Melancon. Suggestion – save the $7.1 mil of the Sanchez/Davis combo at 1B, put Neil Walker at 1B, and have he and Pedro swap time there while having JHAY filling in at 2B and 3B when either Walker and/or Alvarez are not in the lineup. I think we benefit from having the possibility that Pedro increases his trade value; we are getting prepared for Alen Hanson to join the team at 2B in June; and have Neil full time at 1B, and JHAY full time at 3B going down the stretch.

  3. Thanks tim.. this may be a dumb request and it doesn’t have to be as detailed.. but if we hypothetically had the same roster in 2017, what would your payroll projection be?

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